House shopping is never easy. It gets even harder with a smaller budget, especially those who are first time home buyers. For those looking to buy their first home, unless you’ve been saving for many years, you’re most likely looking at either a newer condo, town home or an older single family home. When shopping in this price range, most things aren’t 100% turn key. While the goal is to get the worst house on the best block, this is only applicable if it makes sense and is done with sweat equity in mind. Here are some things to look out for in the kitchens of older, non remodeled homes while house hunting.
Layout is huge when it comes to a home. Proximity from the kitchen to the living room is a big deal, but also location of appliances. Relocating a kitchen, blowing down walls and moving around appliances is extremely costly, so unless you have a huge renovation budget up your sleeve, it is important to try to find a kitchen where these two things are use-able for your lifestyle.
Make sure it comes with appliances
Kitchen appliances aren’t cheap! Many homeowners plan on taking their appliances with them to their new home. A set of new appliances can run from $5k – $10k depending on how “high end” they are. Don’t fret if the appliances aren’t stainless steel or if they don’t match. Don’t forget, this is just your first home. Everything is replaceable in time.
Quality of cabinet boxes
Remember how we were talking about location of the kitchen and the appliances? Here is why! If the cabinet boxes are in good shape, you can dress any kitchen up with new cabinet doors and hardware. Cabinet refacing is a cheap alternative, and it can make an old kitchen feel brand new again. This is much cheaper than ripping everything out, and as a first time home buyer, the goal is to build equity, not dump money into a project that is over your head.
Remember your first home won’t be perfect.
It’s so easy to get caught up with all the gorgeous kitchens we see every day on HGTV, Pinterest and Instagram. Don’t let an outdated kitchen discourage you. Most people don’t get a perfect first home. Over the next 5 to 10 years, this home will become perfect because it will be yours and your vision for it will shine through.